Traditional style is expressed in many ways. The most impressive is the use of wood moldings.
Crown molding turns an ordinary room into one of elegance and style. Wider baseboards and door and window moldings take a home from builder’s standard to custom.
One of my favorite types of molding is box molding. These are the individual square or rectangular shapes created out of picture frame style moldings applied to the walls that divide it into sections. Most often box molding is used in the formal spaces of a home such as the dining room, foyer and living room.
To keep the style traditional I recommend that you paint the walls and moldings, especially the box molding all the same color. I prefer white but I’ve seen impressive rooms painted all black, red and navy.
Most homeowners of traditional homes love the look but find it challenging to hand and display artwork. It’s virtually impossible to find artwork the perfect size to fit evenly within the box frames. One solution is to have existing artwork reframed but this can become expensive.
The easiest solution is to follow some simple rules. First keep the wall space of equal distance on each of the vertical sides of the artwork. If your box molding is 18” wide, select artwork that will fit inside the box and yield at least 3” on each vertical side of the picture frame. Any smaller distance will look like the artwork is crammed into the box molding dimensions.
The height doesn’t matter. When hanging any artwork, you always follow the 57” rule regardless of the type of molding. Regarded as eye level.
If you are hanging a pair or group of pictures the center of the arrangement should still be 57”. Keeping all your artwork at this central height creates harmony throughout your home.
The second rule is balance. If you are hanging large artwork it is fine to let it span across two or three sections of box molding. The first rule still applies when you cross over multi-sections. The vertical space on the sides of the artwork remains equal distance away from the box molding.
It is very impressive to fill each section of box molding with a collection of equal sized pieces of art. It’s best to treat either one wall in this fashion or do all four walls. You never want to do just two walls because it makes the room look out of balance. Just like when you paint an accent wall.
Box molding is classy. Treat it with respect. Honor it by selecting the right sized artwork that will do it the justice it deserves.